This month’s Makansutra dinner session was held at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time. Thanks to the organizers of the monthly Makansutra makan outings (done on a voluntary, non-profit basis), this was yet another successful session filled with great food, wine, and company!
Dinner got off to a great start with an excellent trio of appetizers.
First up was cold-cut drunken chicken. The Shaoxing wine had a subtle briny and savoury depth, which I’m told was due to the addition of prawn paste. Thankfully, the meat didn’t taste too strongly of alcohol. The chicken was firm and succulent due to the use of Sakura chicken (reared without growth hormones and antibiotics).
The roast pork belly was decent, with an adequately crisp crackling. It would have been rather forgettable, if not for the piquant jellyfish and pickle that accompanied it.
This was incredibly fun to munch on! Bits of salted egg yolk underneath the batter contrasted nicely with the sweet cubes of pumpkin.
At our table was Francis of Cafe de Hong Kong, who brought along his unique blend of liver sauce. With a base of sweet bean paste, this creamy and robust dip went very well with the appetizers.
Each of us got a generous mini pot of this luxurious broth. Thick, juicy Shitake mushroom, sea cucumber, fish maw, and dried scallops in lightly thickened stock – this was utterly rich and comforting!
Another crowd-pleaser – fat prawns wrapped in crispy beancurd skin. Reminded me of dim sum-style beancurd roll 腐皮卷, except this came with a whole prawn.
This looks simple, but it was comfort food at its best. The interior beancurd was silky and wobbly, while the exterior soaked up the rich sauce like a sponge. Simply gorgeous!
Personally, this was the climax of the meal!
Gently pry open the bird, and the tender meat falls apart to reveal a stuffing of preserved vegetable beneath the ribs. The sweet-saltish pickle had been braised till soft, and complemented the chicken nicely. Together with that rich, brown gravy, all that’s missing was a bowl of rice. Ok, make that two bowls of rice!
These slender stalks of French beans were sweet and retained the right amount of crunch without being too raw. I couldn’t detect much of the XO sauce, but I actually preferred it this way.
Also known as Cat’s Ears, this kind of rustic homemade fresh pasta is hard to find. The noodles was slightly floury, but what saved this dish was the sweet and refreshing seafood stock.
Dessert came in the shape of a heart!
We were expecting ice cream in light tempura batter, but what we got was chocolate ice cream in a thin crust of bread. We ate our hearts out anyway! 🙂
Once again, thanks to Eslim for organizing this month’s dinner. And it was great meeting new friends and familiar faces again! Till the next session, cheers!
Zi Yean Restaurant
Blk 56 Lengkok Bahru
Tel: +65 6474 0911 (aircon section) / +65 6471 0253 (non-aircon section)